MPA and Graduate Certificates in Public Administration

Public speaker giving a presentation

Become a future leader for public service with masters in public administration

The KU Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree prepares students for careers in public service, including at all levels of government, non-profit organizations, and public service-oriented private organizations. Our MPA program employs a unique combination of theoretically grounded course work and practical application. It is recognized with multiple top rankings by U.S. News and World Report, including a long-standing #1 ranking in local government management.

A public administration professional’s duties might include:

  • Studying political systems and operations
  • Planning regional and urban community growth
  • Making policy at the local government level
  • Analyzing or changing performance at a non-profit organization

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of police and detectives is projected to grow 7 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The need for public safety is expected to lead to new openings for officers, although demand may vary by geographic location.

What career possibilities does a public administration degree offer?

Public administration professionals use their skills in a variety of settings, including local government, political science, non-profit leadership, medical and health services management and human resources.

Public Administration career paths; federal government, law enforcement management, agency administrator, education funding analyst, environmental policy analyst, budget analyst, state department, local government, state government

Is an MPA or a public administration graduate certificate right for you?

KU’s public administration graduate programs are for individuals who seek leadership positions in public sector organizations. These programs develop students' abilities to design and implement policies, projects and programs while attending to day-to-day administrative issues, enabling their organizations to provide vital services to communities and address pressing societal problems.

What public administration graduate programs in Kansas City are available from KU?

KU offers an MPA and three certificate options for public administration graduate programs. See the choices below and download the program guides for more information. Each guide provides the program’s curriculum, career paths, admissions information, tuition and more.


Nikki Huntington
Graduate Program Coordinator

Explore the curriculum

Master of Public Administration 43 credit hours; 1 final exam essay, 3 hours experiential learning, 12 hours elective coursework, 12 hours public sector coursework, 16 hours core coursework Graduate certificate in public policy; take 2 required courses and 2 elective courses for 12 credit hoursGraduate cert in public/nonprofit management; take 1 required course and 3 elective courses for 12 credit hoursGraduate cert in city and county management; take 3 required courses and 1 elective course for 12 credit hoursGraduate certificate in performance management
Why start a KU graduate certificate or KU masters in public administration program?


  • Applicable to a variety of careers
  • Evening classes to fit your busy schedule
  • MetroKC tuition rate available for Missouri students 


  • All full professors are members of the National Academy of Public Administration
  • Ranked in public affairs, local government management (no. 10), public finance and budgeting, and public management and leadership among public universities by U.S. News and World Report
  • NASPAA accredited
  • KU is one of 35 public university members of the prestigious Association of American Universities


  • Hands-on curriculum with real-world application
  • Emphasizes characteristics to help you succeed in the field
  • Training and practical experience in leadership, current issues and project management